Recent entries

    DragonCon 2016 ()
    #10201 Copy

    Questioner

    I wanted to ask-- So you--I think more than almost any other fantasy author--you create universes and then you leave them behind. Entire uni-- I almost feel like you could sit down-- you could have like pages of a physics lecture in each of your universes and you would have equations for how it works. Do you have-- Have you always had these ideas for these various universes with gods and magic systems and things like that, or are you always creating them, sort of as you go? 

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's yes and no. A lot of the ones you're seeing in the cosmere are things I created at the beginning to be kind of what the cosmere was. But I left some holes intentionally cause I knew I would come up with cool things that I wanted to add, and so I built in that wiggle room, and I'm always coming up with new ones. And there are way more that I want to do than I can write, like the one I keep wanting to find a chance for is--

    Do you guys know how Nikola Tesla tried to create wireless energy? I think I've talked about this one. Like, he tried to create wireless energy, and I'm like "What if there were a world where that happened naturally?" Where you had a natural current going, and you could like set your lantern on the ground and it would create a current from the sky to the ground and your light bulb would just turn on. You don't need electricity. And how would-- What if we have giant toads that could shoot out their tongues that would create a current,  and they're like taser tongues? *makes zapping noises* Stuff like this. And so, I started jumping in to looking at electricity and things like this, and current and whatnot, and that's just all back there and I'm like "Aww, someday I need to be able to write this." But there are so many things that I want to write that I just don't have the time for, so it's a yes and no.

    Questioner

    So do you have, like, "what if" questions and then you build a universe from there?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Usually they're "what if" questions, but Sanderson's Zeroth Law--I've got these laws on magic you can look up,  they're named humbly after myself--so Sanderson's Zeroth Law is "Always err on the side of what's awesome". And usually it's less even a "what if?" and it's a "That's so cool, taser toads!" Like if you really want to know the truth of where The Stormlight Archive started, there's all this cool stuff, like part of it was like "What if there was a storm like the storm on Jupiter". And then I eventually changed it to a storm that goes around the planet, something like that, but the real truth was "Magical power armor. YEAH! Magical power armor is cool! Plate mail power armor! Why would you need plate mail power armor?" Y'know, and it starts with the really cool idea. Mistborn started by me drifting in a fog bank at eighty miles per hour in my car and loving how it looked as it drove past and saying "Is there a world where I can imitate this feel, where you look out and it streams by." It's those early visuals or concepts that make me say "Oh yeah, I wanna do that!". That is where my books really come from, and then I layer on top of them the "what ifs?" and trying to build a realistic ecology based around these ideas.

    DragonCon 2016 ()
    #10202 Copy

    Trae

    On the planet of Nalthis, the Warbreaker planet, is the method with which people are chosen as Returned an autonomous system that is not governed by intelligent entity?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, good question. *laughter* I was hoping for one of those.

    DragonCon 2016 ()
    #10203 Copy

    Questioner

    One of my favorite things about your books is your characters. And I was wondering... What advice would you give to an aspiring author about developing characters? 

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ooh. This is the hardest one for me to talk about, because for me, it was a matter of taking what I was doing wrong and learning to do it right, which-- How do you do that? That's the story of becoming better at anything. For me with characters, the big "click" that happened in my brain was when I realized every character is the hero of their own story. Every character sees the world through the eyes-- That's the only experience they've had, and they don't exist to fill a role. We don't exist to fill roles. We fill roles! We fill lots of them. But that's not why we exist, right? We aren't "sidekick", or we aren't "spouse", we aren't-- We fill those roles, and we identify in those roles, but we are not those roles. And when I started to treat my characters each like-- I ask, what is this person's passion in life? How do they see themselves? They're okay not being at the forefront of the story, but what in their minds do they see as their life meaning? What do they want, who are they, all of these things. And when I stopped sticking people into roles-- Which is really dangerous for an outline writer, sticking people in roles. When I stopped doing that. My characters really came alive a lot more. So that's-- I don't know if that helps, but the biggest piece of advice I can give you is try to figure out a way where you can let your characters-- Pretend like, well, if this person where the hero of the story, not just the sidekick, what would they do? How would they approach it? What would they be doing if they weren't saving the world? If this plot hadn't hit them like a freight train, what would they be doing in life. They would care about things! What would they care about, what would they be doing.

    DragonCon 2016 ()
    #10204 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    People ask me how am I so productive. It's really a mix of two things. And I'm going on tangent, like I said. But people ask this all the time, and I'm like, "I don't know how to answer that, I just do my job, right?" I write every day, consistently. I don't write very quickly, I'm not a fast writer, but I write very consistently. I think I am lucky in that I didn't get published early and so I had to have a job and all of this stuff and go through school all while finding time to write two thousand words a day and I did that for ten years before I got published, and so I had momentum. I knew I could just do these two thousand words a day and I would always have a book that I was working on that was getting ready, and I also learned to jump projects a lot to keep myself fresh.

    And so when I finished something, I immediately looked for something very different to do, which will refresh my mind, let me hit the ground running. A lot of writers have downtime between books, and that downtime is because-- I don't know if you guys get this kind of, this, like, funk after you finish a great book you've read. When you're like "Oh man." It's almost like coming down from a high. Writers get that too, when you finish a book and you're like *groans*. But if I can get excited about the next thing very quickly, and start on that immediately, then I just keep my momentum and keep going.

    So it's kind of a mixture of those two things, good habits and switching projects, so that means you shouldn't be frustrated when I do a book that's not your favorite series, whatever it is, because your favorite series would not be coming any faster, most likely. In fact, what you can look at-- If you look at the time the Stormlight books have taken, and compare them to time that other big epic fantasy series have taken, I do a Stormlight book at about the same rate actually, I'm not that much faster than Pat or George or something like that, it's just that I know to fill that time between those big books with something else to keep my momentum going-- Or at least my psychology lets me do this. And I don't think the books would be any faster without that.

    DragonCon 2016 ()
    #10205 Copy

    Questioner

    One of the things that I really like about your writing is that, unlike a lot of fantasy writers, you know when to stop. There are a lot of writers who just keep going and going and going and don't seem to know when to stop. How much of pre-planning do you do for your writing, and when do you know when to kind of put the breaks on it? Like "You know I've got to finish this up, 'cause I don't want this to drag out", like so many authors have done in the past.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Um, so one advantage that I have-- And I've found that I'm more rare in this, I though I would be the normal but-- I am a heavy outliner, and usually what you find with outliners, as writers, is that they write good endings, but they have trouble with character. Usually what we call a discovery writers who just kinda find their way through the book as they go  have these really lively characters and then their endings just kind of whatever. And there are great discovery writers who have great endings, and there are plenty of outline writers who have great characters, you just have to learn to shore up what-- your weakness, learn your writing style.

    And for me that is-- My early books, the ones that weren't published, where the weakness was those characters. And I was really worried about it, and so I spent five years being like "How do I make the characters work", and I can only do this kind of hybrid method where I took my friends that I knew write really great characters and I tried the methods they used, and so I kind of discovery-write characters and outline my plot and then if the characters grow into someone the plot wouldn't work for, I either take that character out and put a new one in and grow someone else in that place or I re-build the plot to match them. So right now I have this floating outline that changes as I'm going.

    But I like good endings. And I feel like good endings are something that a lot of-- Hollywood skimps on them, and a lot of books just don't quite bring it together. And so it's something very important to me, that I don't start my book until I know what the ending I'm pointing toward is. And that also gives when I'm done, when I've got that ending and I'm pointed at it, when I finish it, I can then be done. I always feel that a piece of art that's continuous, like writing your getting a serialized work, it needs to finish at some point to actually be a piece of art. And that's why, you know, Mistborn trilogy, the publisher hates that I ended the Mistborn trilogy and said "I'm done". He said "Yes, but you've just hit the bestseller list, like hop on the bestsellers", and like "Yep. I'm done, though. That is a piece of art. It's finished." *applause* And it's not, you know--

    One of the things I knew I was going to do this in my life and I think the publishers were okay with it because one of the things I did very early on in my career was, you know, start with convincing--Hopefully I've convinced you all--readers that what they're following is kind of Brandon Sanderson Book Brand rather than latching on to a series. A lot of authors have this trouble with people kind of latching on to the series and not the author, and then they feel tied to the series. And I never wanted to do that, cause like you said, I think there are plenty of series that have gone for a very long time and their authors always loved it. But I've also read series where it feels like the author feels chained to the series, and he only writes one of these when they actually need a paycheck or something like that, and I never wanted to be there. And so very early I'm like "I'm not writing the sequel to Elantris immediately, I may never--" I probably will, but I told people that it's a standalone book, it's just there, and if I write a sequel, it will be about different characters, cause that story's done. Mistborn trilogy, yes, I might come back to the world, but the story of these characters is done. And training people to, like, "Alright, I like what Brandon does, I'll trust him that the next thing will be good too" And hopefully that works, but even if it doesn't, I'm still gonna do what I do. I would rather be the person who writes a lot of different things even if that means I have a smaller audience, because I really like jumping projects, it keeps me fresh.

    DragonCon 2016 ()
    #10206 Copy

    Questioner

    I was wondering, when you started out with book six you didn't really have much of a fan base. How has it been transitioning from lack of a fanbase to this.

    Brandon Sanderson

    This. Um... Wow, yeah. So it's been crazy, definitely been crazy. It's weird because as a writer-- You become a writer to tell your stories, not to become famous, right? But becoming famous-- Nobody becomes famous as a writer, right? That's what you figure and you just want to tell your stories. If you would've gone to me, when, let's say, '99, 2000, when I was in the thick of writing all these books, and come to me and said, "We're gonna give you", um, just pick a normal salary, something like forty grand, "forty grand for the rest of your life and  you can write books", I'd have taken that in a heartbeat. That guarantee-- I'm there. I can publish a book a year, I will have readers to make a living on it, that is all I ever wanted. In fact, I'd told people, if I could just get there. Well-- *laughs* Now, with over ten million books out there, it's different. But at the same time, being a writer is awesome in that-- I sat next to somebody on the plane over here and they're like "Oh, what do you do", and I'm like "Well I'm a writer" and like "Oh, should I know who you are?" My response was "No actually, because I'm really, really famous with a really small and weird group of people." *laughter*

    And that's probably the best kind of famous. I can-- Like if I go out, right, I'll sign maybe one or two autographs and it feels cool, right? One or two people will recognize me and they'll be like *gasps*, then I'll sign the autograph and it's great, but then I just go on with my life! And it means a ton to the people that it means something to, but to the average people it means Do you want fries with that?" Whatever, who cares. And so I basically live a normal life, right? As normal a life as one can be when, you know, you're traveling to Europe and things like that on tour. But when I'm at home it's very normal, it's just me and my kids and my wife. I write at home. It's a blast, it's a normal life. I play Minecraft with my kids. I hang out and things like that, and then I go on tour and I'm a superstar for a short time with some really cool people, and then I go home and it's just normal again. And so-- Yeah, if you're gonna be famous, be writer-famous. Don't be-- Like even movie stars very few people know, you recognize their face and they can't go anywhere, and I don't think I would want that. So this has been awesome.

    And the other thing is, you always want to be able to just write whatever you love, and we talk about that, I mean I, at the end of The Wheel of Time, we paid off my house, we put enough in savings for the kids and for whatever we'd need to pay for for the rest of our lives, and then I retired. I retired like four years ago, retired for me means "I get to write extra books!", so thank you guys for that!

    DragonCon 2016 ()
    #10207 Copy

    Questioner

    Going back to The Wheel of Time for a second... One of my favorite things about A Memory of Light is you had so much-- I guess free rein with parts of it... Can you give me an example, or a couple of examples, of something that you got [???] I could be totally wrong about this situation but say like, when [???] was first creating a weave to see a whole battlefield. Was that something you did, or was that actually Robert Jordan's.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Excellent question, I'll go through a few of these things for you, that one was me. One of the things that was awesome, but also a little bit difficult is the wrong term-- Anyway, it was awesome to be able to come into The Wheel of Time as a fan, and have read the books for twenty years and be thinking about "Wow, I wish this would happen", and then say "Wow, I'm gonna make that happen" ...But as I was doing it, I was also realizing it was dangerous, because there was a real danger for putting in fanservice type stuff, not in the traditional meaning of fanservice, but like the fanservice of "Narg showed up in the Last Battle again" or things like this. Like little fan jokes. I found that I had a lot of temptation to put those in, and so I had to ride this really careful line where I was saying "What do I as a fan want, to make the book more fulfilling not just as a joke".

    One of the things that as a writer I've always wanted to see was gateways used for more than they were used in the books leading up to that point, you know, teleportation, instant travel has a lot of ramifications. One of the things I kind of put on myself was that I didn't want to create a lot of new weaves, because I knew if I did, I'd really risk taking it to far away from Robert Jordan's vision. So I said "Let's stick mostly to the weaves he's used, and see if I can use them in more innovative ways". This whole idea of taking the magic and digging deeper into it rather than going wider with it. And so a lot of the stuff with gateways is me. A lot of--

    So for instance, I also went in and said to Harriet coming in, "Every book that Robert Jordan's done, almost all of them, has added a new character who's become a main character who used to be a side character. If we don't do that for these last books it's gonna feel weird to people. So I would like to take one of the Asha'man and bring them to prominence, and make them a viewpoint character and do what Robert Jordan's done" and so that's where Androl came from. And they're like "Well there's nothing in Robert Jordan's notes other than this little bit about his profession, take him and play with him, and do whatever you want." And that was almost a little pressure valve for me, to put the more "Brandon-y" sort of things, goofy magic system stuff with that, and that pressure valve allowed me to not really-- knowing my writing style, I was able to make the rest of it be a little more Robert Jordan-esque, if that makes sense.

    You see that pressure valve there, you see it with Perrin in the Wolf Dream, in the world of dreams, because-- I've said before, Robert Jordan didn't leave very much on Perrin. Perrin is a big, empty-- big blank slate for these books. We knew where he ended up at the end and that was it. So Perrin was the other sort of "Do whatever you want, Brandon" sort of thing. He left a lot more on the other characters. So if you're reading a Perrin scene or if you're seeing them play with gateways, you're seeing me kinda let Brandon leak out a bit more. And this was done intentionally, I'd say part was a pressure valve, but also when I was given this, Harriet sat me down and said "You are the author now. I didn't hire a ghostwriter on purpose. I didn't want somebody who was just going to be Robert Jordan, because that would make a bad book", in her opinion. "What Jim-- Robert Jordan can't finish this, so you need to do it and yes, we want to stay true to his vision, but you are the writer now." And she was very clear on that, and I've always remembered that and how much that meant to me, being-- You know, she was the ultimate authority, but I had creative control to do whatever I felt the books needed, and the she-- her job was to rein be back if she though I went too far, and make sure the voice was consistent and things like that. So I got to do a lot with these books that I don't think a ghostwriter would have been able to do.

    DragonCon 2016 ()
    #10208 Copy

    Questioner

    So, when you were starting to write your books, did you have the idea for-- Like [???] magics tied together or did you have that from the beginning?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh, excellent question. So, he's asking about the Cosmere, where all my epic fantasies are tied together. Where did that come from. I can trace a few paths back in my brain where that came from. What I can say is that it was built in from the beginning of the books you have been reading. But you remember, those weren't my first written books. I wrote thirteen novels before I sold one. Elantris was number six. Way of Kings was number thirteen. And so-- I love this idea of a big, connected universe. The first person I can remember doing it, that blew my mind, was when Asimov connected the Robots and the Foundation books, which I thought was so cool when I was a teenager.

    Another path that I trace this [concept?] also, though-- I don't know how many of you guys did this, but when I'd read a book--I still do this, actually--I would insert behind the scenes a kind of character that was my own, who was doing stuff behind the scenes. Like I would insert my own story into the story, just kind of take ownership of it in a strange sort of way. I remember doing this with the Pern books. I'm like "Oh, no, they think that person is who they think they are, but nooo! This is this other person!" And so I had this kind of proto-Hoid in my head jumping between other people's books.

    So when I sat down to write Elantris, I said "Well, I want to do something like this". All the people I've seen doing this before-- and they've done it very well. Michael Moorcock did it, and Stephen King did it, and things like this, I'm not the first one to connect their books together, not by a long shot. I felt like a lot of them, they kinda fell into it, and as a writer, having seen what they did, I could then do it intentionally, if that makes sense. And so I started out with this idea that I was just gonna have this character in-between who is furthering his own goals, and built out a story for him, and then I went-- After I did Elantris, I wrote a book called Dragonsteel, which isn't published, and it was his origin story, for this character. And then I wrote some more books, and so, of course-- and things like this. Eventually Elantris got published and the other ones didn't, and they weren't as good as Elantris was. And so I took them all as kind of "backstory canon", and moved forward as if they had all-- they were all there and they had happened, but nobody else knew but me. Which allowed this cool foundation for you like "wow, that stuff has happened", because I had books and books of material that I could treat as canon in this way, to let me know where thing were going. So it wasn't planned-- It was planned from the beginning, but not the beginning of my writing care. From about book six was where it started.

    DragonCon 2016 ()
    #10209 Copy

    Jennifer Liang

    How much of your-- the way you work-- interact with your fans and your process with us is a reaction to being a Wheel of Time fan, and the things that you wanted to happen from--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Right. I think a lot of it is, but it's a mix of being a Wheel of Time fan and just a fantasy fan in general. Wanting to know more about business, being an author, and just wanting this transparency and-- I don't think that the authors before can really be blamed, they didn't have the Internet, right? I mean, you couldn't really have a thing like I have now on my website-- Or that most authors have on websites. I mean, some authors tried newsletters, but those were huge productions, requiring, you know, actual paper, you know, that stuff they used to use, then sent through the actual mail, not email. The email's named after it, kids. *laughter* These were huge productions, and so they were-- It's not like I sat one day and said "oh, those authors!", but then you see my generation, when we broke in and were--the Internet was becoming the thing that it is--we're like "Ah, let's use this!" I remember when Kevin J. Anderson said to me "but so here's Twitter", and I'm like like, "Twitter. Why would-- They're so short", he said "No, but it's like you can create your own newsfeed from all the people you're following, and it's like a little kind of news ticker about what's going on in everyone's lives." I'm like "Oh, that's a really useful thing as an author", so I hopped on Twitter very early, I hopped on Reddit very early, I hopped on-- Ehhh, some of the other defunct places, but yeah, the idea was that--

    I'm gonna go off a tangent, you'll get a lot of this. I have this view, as-- of a writer---and again, don't go say to other writers, you should feel this way--the way I feel is that I'm an artist and you are my patron. In the old days, you used to-- to be an artist, you used to have a wealthy patron, right? That's how you made art, that some rich person came and said "Here's a bunch of money to live on, now go make this art and then, you know, mention that I'm your patron". And a lot of the great art we have, in fact almost all of it came from somebody paying so the artist can actually have food and a life while they're creating this art. In the modern society that's changed to kind of the crowdsourcing, "You are my patron". The crowd in general says "Okay, we're all going to be insurance actuators so that you don't have to be one". Thank you. "You write these stories and then we'll support you". And so my philosophy is: in a lot of way, you are my boss, in more of a patronage sort of thing, you're my patron, and so I should be accountable with what I'm doing. It doesn't mean that I'm going to necessarily change what I'm doing, and it doesn't mean that I'm always going to be writing on the thing you want me to, but I will be clear about what I'm doing and when, just for that transparency, 'cause we can do it now, when we're not-- we couldn't before.

    Jennifer Liang

    Yeah the patronage thing is really interesting, the way that it works. I know you're past this now, you don't need to do this, but would you ever consider something like Patreon?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh Patreon. So--

    Jennifer Liang

    Is that something you would have done ten years ago if...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, I might have-- Patreon is kind of a hard thing, because I think Patreon is much better for people who are doing something that may be not as market-friendly, but which a group thinks is very important and should be rewarded. There are certain authors I know whose work is very important to the field, like Nora Jemisin. Nora's work is really important, and it's really good, but-- And it's sold pretty well, but I think that the idea of trying to have to be market-friendly is really terrifying to Nora-- Maybe not terrifying, I don't think anything terrifies Nora. But you know, it's that she doesn't want to be beholden to that, and so her setting up a Patreon said, "Look, I'm just gonna write this stuff, I don't even then have to worry about the market", is a really good use of Patreon. We set one up for Writing Excuses, and then we use the money to pay our guests, and to fly people in and stuff like that. I don't need one because what I write naturally does very well in the market and so there's no need or worry for me to do that. If all writing shifted that direction I'd be fine with it, but for right now what's working here with me is working just fine.

    Jennifer Liang

    Yeah, the traditional model for publishing really serves your style...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah. The traditional model works very well when you're someone like me. My plots and my stories and things just connect very well with a large segment of the population.

    That's also why I don't do a lot on Kickstarter. Like I think Kickstarters-- Like we did-- We let the people making the Mistborn board game-- Which, by the way, Mistborn board game, yay, you guys kickstarted that very well.  I let them Kickstart that. They're like a small company, that makes the board game. And I said, "You can make the board game, but you have to get a really good designer, because I can't micromanage your making a board game", and so they did, and that's somebody very expensive, and then they Kickstarted, you guys supported that. I think that's a good use for Kickstarter for someone like me, but Kickstarter ain't just something of my own, I'd rather that bandwidth at Kickstarter be used for people who maybe need it a bit more, so I've stayed away from doing this thing for now.

    Holiday signing ()
    #10210 Copy

    Questioner

    How do world travelers travel?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, there are various different methods.  The main one that people have figured out involves pools of energy on the various planets.

    Questioner

    So like we saw in Elantris? Okay...

    Brandon Sanderson

    If you read mostly in Words of Radiance you will see--

    Holiday signing ()
    #10211 Copy

    Questioner

    I was noticing that some of the Aons from Elantris, have similar names to the Surges on Roshar. Like there's an Aon for Cohesion, which is a Surge. Does that have anything to do with each other?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Vaguely, yes.

    Questioner

    What about the ones with the names of Shards, like Endowment, which is a Shard.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Mmhmm.

    Questioner

    Those are related?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Questioner

    What do they have to do with each other?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's a tangential relationship.

    Holiday signing ()
    #10212 Copy

    Questioner

    So we know that Nightblood was created by people who had some knowledge of Shardblades.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Mmhmm.

    Questioner

    But we also know that Nightblood consumes Breaths when it's used.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yep.

    Questioner

    So do Shardblades require that kind of energy? It doesn't seem like they--

    Brandon Sanderson

    No.

    Questioner

    So why are they different?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Because they were made with different magic systems, by different people, and different styles.

    Holiday signing ()
    #10213 Copy

    Questioner

    So we know that Shardblades can't cut through other Shardblades because they are Invested objects, right?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That is definitely-- Yes, that's part of it.

    Questioner

    So could a Shardblade cut through other kinds of Invested objects like--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Depends on how Invested it is.

    Questioner

    --like a Hemalurgic spike?

    Brandon Sanderson

    A Hemalurgic spike would resist being cut.

    Holiday signing ()
    #10214 Copy

    Questioner

    Allomancy requires, you need to be either a Misting or a Mistborn to be able to do that. But Hemalurgy you just need to stab someone through the heart. So what would stop someone on Roshar from using Hemalurgy, because it's not Innate? Do you have to be in proximity to Ruin?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Intent is a big part of a lot of the magics, including Hemalurgy, meaning that you need to know what you're doing. Or somebody needs to-- There needs to be Intent involved in what's happening to you.

    Questioner

    So like with Spook when he got spiked, where was the Intent?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The person who was driving that spike was being influenced by Ruin, and the Intent was there.

    Questioner

    So unless you knew what you were trying to do with a Hemalurgic spike, you couldn't do Hemalurgy?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You could not steal attributes no.

    Questioner 2

    Is it possible to steal Surgebindings.

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is possible to steal Surgebinding.

    Questioner

    Is there going to be crossover, like is someone going to have Feruchemical powers and also Surgebinding?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That's a Read And Find Out.

    Holiday signing ()
    #10216 Copy

    Questioner

    The nature of humans on different worlds, like people from Warbreaker have a Breath, people from Scadrial, do they have a Breath as well?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They do not.

    Questioner

    That's specific to the Endowment Shard?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yup.

    Questioner

    I've read that Hoid does have a Breath. Was he born with a Breath or--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Hoid was not born on Taldain-- err Nalthis, on Nalthis. So no, he did not start with one. But the magic was much different when he started. He was before the Shattering of Adonalsium so things are weird regarding him.

    Holiday signing ()
    #10217 Copy

    Questioner

    I have a question about Nightblood. I think I heard that-- Something you said in a Q&A that it is related to a Shardblade, or was a Shardblade?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah… So Nightblood. Vasher visited Roshar, saw Shardblades, came back and tried to make one. With what he knew of his magic. That's the short version of it. Kind of simplifies things, but yes.

    Holiday signing ()
    #10218 Copy

    Questioner

    Why isn’t the next book about Szeth?  He’s my favorite character and he only had /four/ chapters in the first book.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I know. Szeth-- The next book's not about Szeth because I didn't feel his backstory matched what was going on with this book well enough. I felt it matched Dalinar's.

    Questioner 2

    Is Szeth in the third book?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Szeth will appear in the third book yes.

    Questioners

    Yes!

    Questioner 1

    More than the other ones I hope?

    Questioner 3

    Does the sword corrupt him?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You'll have to see. *laughter* Where you're really going to get a lot of Szeth is Book 5. But you will see.

    Holiday signing ()
    #10219 Copy

    zas678

    When Kaladin is Invested Stormlight specifically rises from his skin. When he is Lashed to a wall, what direction does it travel? Up to him, or to the world?

    Brandon Sanderson

    When he is Lashed to a wall where does the Stormlight go. So when it's puffing off him, and he's Lashed to a wall it will asc-- I think it will puff-- It will escape and go up.

    zas678

    Typical up.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, typical up.

    Holiday signing ()
    #10221 Copy

    zas678

    If Breeze, Dalinar, Sarene, and Shallan played a game of Apples to Apples, without powers or spren, who would win? *laughter*

    Brandon Sanderson

    Alright, alright, alright, alright. Name the people playing again.

    zas678

    Breeze, Dalinar, Sarene, Shallan.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Okay, Jasnah. *laughter*

    Holiday signing ()
    #10224 Copy

    zas678

    Why can a human be affected by Surgebinding but metals within their bodies cannot be Pushed or Pulled?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They can be Pushed or Pulled, if you're strong enough.

    zas678

    So is it just the Innate Investiture--

    Brandon Sanderson

    The Innate Investiture is interfering with things. Like if you look at it this way: So you're Surgebinding someone, I am touching him and sending the power straight into him. There's difference between there's something inside of him that I'm messing with and going through?

    Holiday signing ()
    #10225 Copy

    zas678

    If an Awakener went to Roshar and bled color from a gem, would this gem still hold Stormlight?

    Brandon Sanderson

    If an Awakener bled-- No it would-- Oh wait yes it would because a colorless gem could still hold Stormlight. It just would not have--

    zas678

    Would not have the properties of the original color.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, the color is integral to what's going on because molecularly some of these gems are the same except for the different coloring. The coloring is kind of what--

    zas678

    What defines what magic.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah. It has to with fabrials and some of the effects, and that relates directly to the spren and what spren-- anyway.

    Holiday signing ()
    #10226 Copy

    zas678's sister

    So it said in the book that if Marasi and Wayne had it on at the same time-- Would it cancel it out all the way, or would it just cancel out where both of the bubbles were?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Where both of the bubbles were.

    zas678's sister

    So it would be like a--

    Brandon Sanderson

    You could make a bubble in a bubble, yes. Third book of...[Era 2]...will have a moment where they try to do a time bubble in motion.

    zas678

    A bubble in a bubble.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Not that one, the motion one, so you'll finally get some views on what's going on. You get some rules on that.

    Holiday signing ()
    #10228 Copy

    zas678's sister

    If Wayne and Breeze, like if Wayne had a time bubble up and Breeze was inside Pushing on somebody's emotions what--

    Brandon Sanderson

    He could still make that work.

    zas678's sister

    Would it affect it?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Not really. It wouldn't dramatically affect it. You're going to have one of these sort-of effects-- Yeah, because what he is doing is on another Realm, it's not going to affect it.

    zas678's sister

    Is that the same with all of the *audio obscured*

    Brandon Sanderson

    Not necessarily. See what's going on is if you are affecting things on the Cognitive Realm--

    zas678

    It's kind of time-independent?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah? It's not as-- Really it's the Spiritual Realm that is completely time-independent, right? All time and space are irrelevant once you reach the Spiritual. You're kind of going to go over the top a little bit, it's going to work just fine. In fact you can probably-- So he could use that to make his metals last a little bit better, probably. So that is a hack of the magic systems that you could probably do.

    Holiday signing ()
    #10229 Copy

    Questioner

    Did Kaladin’s name come from anywhere in particular?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No. I'm sure the word paladin was in the back of my head, but it's not like he shares much with like an actual paladin. His name was Merin in the initial version and it was-- it didn't work, he wasn't a Merin and all the fans-- all the readers were like "this name just doesn't work" so I spent years hunting for the right name for him, and that's the one I ended up with. It's really based-- it's Kalak, which is the Storm-- not really the Stormfather but people y'know. Most of the names you'll find are based off one of the Heralds in some way. So he's KALA + DIN, Kalak and din is a suffix.

    Isaac Stewart

    We do have a meaning for it though. Can I tell them the meaning?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ehhh, have we canonized it?

    Isaac Stewart

    We have canonized it, and we have told people before.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Then yeah.

    Isaac Stewart

    It means "Born unto Eternity".

    Brandon Sanderson

    ...I mean, it means that in the same way that names mean something, like my name means-- But when they're naming him that they aren't thinking that. What they are doing is picking one of the Heralds and making a name out of it. But my name technically means "Dweller by the Beacon", but really what it means is "He was the son of Alexander".

    Holiday signing ()
    #10231 Copy

    Questioner

    Could a Forger re-write their history to adjust the kind of metal they burn as an Allomancer?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They could, but it actually wouldn't do anything, because the magic would not be able to replicate the other magic.

    Questioner

    So they would not be able to re-write history in the necessary way?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They would not be able to. I mean they could, but it wouldn’t have an effect, does that make sense? It would do nothing, it would be like you can create the stamp, the stamp would look like it was working but you just wouldn't end up with Allomancy.

    Holiday signing ()
    #10236 Copy

    Questioner

    The cover of, the front cover of any Way of Kings books, there's the little engraving, are those Honorblades?

    They are the symbols of the various orders of Knights Radiant stylized as Honor-- as Shardblades.

    Questioner

    Oh, okay. That makes a lot more sense, because I've seen the symbols on the back...

    Brandon Sanderson

    *pointing at the book* So it's this symbol right here is the same symbol as this.

    Questioner

    Right, it's just a little more expanded and stuff down the blade.  Wow.

    Holiday signing ()
    #10239 Copy

    chasmfriend

    Who is Lady Truth?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, who do you think Lady Truth is?

    chasmfriend

    Tindwyl is who I hope it is. *long silence* Why is that a secret?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Because there are certain things I am not sure how much more I want to say in the books, or how much things-- So it's not that it needs to be a secret or something big and mysterious is happening, but it's because if I speak now I risk undermining things that I might do and I don't want to risk that even if there's a decent chance that whatever I say won't have anything to do with it. So a lot of times my RAFO's are "I know the answer to this, it's not a big secret, but I am not ready to just pin it down". Does that make sense? You've already pried a couple important things out of me so...

    Holiday signing ()
    #10241 Copy

    chasmfriend's friend (Paraphrased)

    My friend asked for Brandon to write something about Harmony in her Alloy of Law.

    Brandon Sanderson

    There's another name Harmony could go by if he weren't able to control the conflict between his halves… *to Zas* Have you guys figured that one out yet? Oh, I'm not going to say anything. You have it on recording… I was pretty sneaky with that one so I don't know if you have it or not.

    Holiday signing ()
    #10242 Copy

    chasmfriend

    *written* Why did Vasher Return? What did he want to accomplish?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You know what you’re going to get in this one.

    chasmfriend

    I have a feeling. That's okay.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Come on, someone I'm going to write another book about?

    chasmfriend

    But that's in the past though, right?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is, but his past is-- It is a good question. It is an important, relevant question, relevant to who he is.

    Holiday signing ()
    #10243 Copy

    Questioner

    Are you going to do another book for Perfect State? ‘Cause that sucked me in.

    Brandon Sanderson

    A lot of people really want more.

    Questioner

    It made me so mad. "Stop writing novellas! I need more information on this."

    Brandon Sanderson

    The big secret on that is that Sophie, the one-- is actually his nemesis. So the robot was not actually a robot, it was a VR thing that she was controlling...

    Questioner

    So are you going to write another?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I don't know if I will, I don't know if I will. So you didn't actually get to see Melhi, his nemesis getting to play with him in-person and things like that. So there's layers there that are kind of complicated.

    Questioner

    Like even with the cosmere novella you released Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell, that one I was like "Why are these so short?!"  I'm not used to this.

    Brandon Sanderson

    That world is important to the cosmere, so that world-- Silence herself you won't see any much more of, but that world itself is very cosmere relevant.

    Holiday signing ()
    #10244 Copy

    little wilson

    Are Ruin and Preservation separate in Sazed or are they fully combined together like can he give one of them, or does he have to give both.

    Brandon Sanderson

    They are not fully combined. I mean that's not the way this works. He could pull off a piece of one even and make-- stuff like that. That's totally, totally viable. I mean it's basically what happened with the spren. The spren existed before even Honor was destroyed and things like that.

    little wilson

    So, did the-- my gosh, on Sel-- the Aons-- not the Aons-- the seons did they exist before the Splintering?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They did not. That's a good question. But they are not the majority of the power. They're just little pieces, they are like the sparks when something gets destroyed. The sparks are not the majority but they are the sparks that were thrown off, if that makes sense?

    Holiday signing ()
    #10245 Copy

    little wilson

    Are Trellism and Trelagism the same religion?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Uuhheha, that's a RAFO too.

    little wilson

    Is it the same god in both?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Let's just say that… who Trell is and what happened is a matter of some interest in the cosmere and amusement to me.

    Holiday signing ()
    #10246 Copy

    little wilson

    Which eye did Gaz lose?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Which eye did Gaz lose? Did I go back and forth on that?

    little wilson

    I have no idea.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Okay, that's a Peter. I thought it was the left eye but if i did it wrong… It's entirely possible. I have no idea. It's in my notes.

    little wilson

    How did he lose it?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well that is a RAFO! That is definitely a RAFO.

    Holiday signing ()
    #10247 Copy

    little wilson

    Can a Mistborn turned into a Lifeless still use Allomancy?

    Brandon Sanderson

    *long-ish pause* Uh, no.

    little wilson

    So I would assume that is the same for a Feruchemist?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah if you-- taking some-- Yeah.  No they can't.

    Holiday signing ()
    #10248 Copy

    little wilson

    Can a Shardblade-killed body be turned into a Lifeless?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Can a Shardblade-killed body be turned into a Lifeless.  Yeees, it can be re-Invested. Yes.

    little wilson

    Are there any side-effects to doing so?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Uhhh, there would be side-effects. I won't tell you what they are. They would be minor, minor, mostly inconsequential side-effects.